Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rugby Injury Crisis?!?

"I prefer rugby to soccer. I enjoy the violence in rugby, except when they start biting each other's ears off." - Elizabeth Taylor (1972)

It is said that the birthplace of rugby was 1823 when William Webb Ellis "with fine disregard for the rules of football (remember football was yet to split into the various codes) as played in his time at Rugby school, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the Rugby game". In Canada, Rugby dates back to the 1860s with the arrival of immigrants, regimental armies and the Royal Navy.

Rugby is a demanding, full contact team sport. In the latest issue of Rugby World a 16-page investigation looks at whether there is an injury crisis in the game. Some interesting statistics include:

  • 72% of injuries occur as a result of contact with another player (a tackle, a ruck and son on) according to RFU figures. Of those, 51% occur in the tackle.

  • The average number of injuries each Guinness Premiership club will suffer each season, is 92 including 22 in training, according to the England Rugby Injury and Training Audit conducted between 2002 and 2004.

  • Are players too big? The average British & Irish Lions player was 8 pounds heavier in 2009 compared to 2005.

  • The London Irish rugby team expects 15-20% of their players to be injured at any time.

  • The average amount of impact a player takes in a match is like being hit by a Mack truck at 75mph compared to the nineties when the impact felt like a Mini at 50mph.

Rugby is just one of many sports that face injury issues. One of the most popular topics at SIRC is injury prevention and treatment. There is a constant flow of information in this area. So far this month over 80 articles relating to injury in sport have become searchable in the SIRC Collection including:

Fuller, C., Caswell, S., & Zimbwa, T. (2010). Do mismatches between teams affect the risk of injury in the Rugby World Cup?. Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport, 13(1), 36-38.

Gianotti, S., Hume, P., & Tunstall, H. (2010). Efficacy of injury prevention related coach education within netball and soccer. Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport, 13(1), 32-35.

Lederman, E. (2010). The myth of core stability. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 14(1), 84-98.

Stricker, G., Scheiber, P., Lindenhofer, E., & Mueller, E. (2010). Determination of forces in alpine skiing and snowboarding: Validation of a mobile data acquisition system. European Journal of Sport Science, 10(1), 31-41.

Did you know:
Heather Moyse is a dual national athlete in bobsleigh and rugby. Moyse and Humphries will compete in the 8th race of the World Cup season January 22nd in Igis, Austria. Watch for them both in the upcoming Winter Games in Vancouver!

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